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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 21 Oct 14 at 21:46 PM

The Report: Blackburn Rovers 1 Blues 0

Malcolm Crosby and Richard Beale's start to life as Co-caretaker manager's didn't go to plan as Blues lost out 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Ben Marshall's strike on the 51st minute enough to give the hosts all three points.

Blues, who saw Neal Eardley sent off in the second nearly came away with a share of the spoils in stoppage time, Andy Shinnie denied by the crossbar.

Blackburn nearly opened the scoring after six minutes when captain Jordan Rhodes broke the offside trap and whipped in a wicked cross across the face of Colin Doyle's goal, which Corry Evans was unable to steer goalwards.

Instantly, Blues sparked into life and had an excellent opportunity to take the lead when Clayton Donaldson latched onto a Koby Arthur through ball, only to see his effort flash across the face of goal and trickle agonizingly wide.

Five minutes later a Ben Marshall cross from the left caused chaos when Doyle came out to claim the ball, only to palm the ball into the path of Rhodes who tried to play in his strike partner, Rudy Gestede, fortunately for the Irish 'keeper, Blues' skipper Paul Robinson was on hand to clear.

Just before the half hour mark Arthur, who looked lively playing just behind Donaldson, manufactured a chance for himself when his smart turn beat Shane Duffy, only for his low drive from the edge of the Blackburn area to safely find the arms of Jason Steele.

Then in the 31st minute Paul Caddis, playing in a midfield role, stung the fingertips of Steele in the Rovers goal. After good play by Donaldson in the channels, his cross evaded the Blackburn defence and found it's way to Caddis at the back post who's first time shot was tipped over by Steele.

Three minutes before the interval and Rhodes found himself in a yard of space on the edge of the Blues' area but his low shot dragged wide of Doyle's post.

Having been booed off at half-time by the home fans, Blackburn came out for the second half on the front foot and took the lead on 51 minutes, when Marshall cut inside onto his right foot, his effort clipped the foot of Doyle's right-hand post on it's way past the Blues 'keeper.

Three minutes after the hosts went ahead, Blues had the chance to draw level. Demarai Gary's cross from the left caused confusion in the Rovers' defence which allowed Caddis to fire goalwards, only to be thwarted by Steele once again.

On the hour, Blues were reduced to ten men for the second time in four days. Markus Olsson getting wrong side of Neal Eardley who brought down the full-back. Eardley picking up his second yellow card in the space of eight minutes.

Four minutes after Eardley's dismissal, Doyle kept Blues in the match with a superb double save. Marshall once again getting the better of the Blues defence, but his effort was stopped by the outstretched leg of Doyle with the rebound falling into the path of Tom Cairney 15 yards out, but the Irishman showed great agility to keep the score at 1-0.

Then on the 68th minute Doyle was at it again, this time pulling off a one-handed save to deny Olsson; which in turn sparked a Blues counter attack which saw Wes Thomas sting the palms of Steele with a powerful shot from distance.

Three minutes later, former Blues midfielder David Dunn had an excellent chance to extend his side's lead, but between the two of them, Robinson and Donaldson did enough to put off Dunn, who blazed over from 6 yards.

On the 79th minute Blues got a huge slice of luck. Marshall, once again skipped past Caddis and his pull back was met by Cairney, who's shot cannoned off Jonathan Grounds face, then onto the foot of the post before Blues scrambled the ball clear.

As the match became stretched, seven minutes from time, substitute Luke Varney was played through, with only Doyle to beat but the forward fired well over from the edge of the box.

With four minutes stoppage time, Blues managed their best effort all night, substitute Andy Shinnie picked the ball up 25-yards from goal and his shot thundered off the underside of the crossbar, somewhat typical of Blues' luck in recent weeks.

Despite keeping the hosts at bay after the red card, Blues just couldn't find a way back into the match.

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